Home Authors Posts by Kathryn R. Bown

Kathryn R. Bown

Kathryn - Our health specialist likes to share with the readers the latest news from the field. Nobody understands better than her the relation between healthy mind and healthy body.


Medical malpractice is a serious topic, but it’s also something that gets used inappropriately by many people who are simply looking for a handout. Studies, including one from Purdue University published in 2017, have found that over a quarter-million people die every year from medical mistakes.

That’s a good reason for doctors and victims alike to take this topic seriously, as there is the potential for some significant long term damage for either party involved. Victims of these situations can have life-threatening consequences while doctors can lose their careers over just one incident.

When trying to determine whether or not a case of true medical malpractice has occurred this is what is considered.

Promptness of Medical Malpractice Reporting

In order for medical malpractice to be determined and taken care of, it must be reported shortly after the incident or illness happens. This is to protect the doctor and medical staff involved from getting put at fault when it wasn’t caused by them.

Medical Negligence

It’s important to note that just because a patient’s condition gets worse, it doesn’t mean it’s a criterion for medical malpractice. Everyone is different, and if it happens that a certain treatment didn’t go as hoped, the doctor is not normally found at fault. The responsibility of the doctor is to act professionally and treat you to the best of his or her ability. In addition, there are some conditions that will only get worse over time and do not have any kind of immediate cure or treatment available.

A Doctor’s Recklessness

Much like what was mentioned above, with conditions that worsen over time, the same parameters exist for patients who are not treatable. If a person is injured in an accident and contracts an illness, the blame can’t be placed on the physician simply based on the outcome of the patient. As long as the doctor took the best course of action according to his or her knowledge on how to move forward with treatment, this is not considered to be recklessness or medical malpractice. If you believe that a medical professional intentionally gave you the wrong treatment to harm you, it’s important to take notes and save any documents related to the visit to the doctor as that is medical malpractice.

Treatability of a Victim’s Illness

Of course, in some cases, patients have a condition or illness that just isn’t treatable. Or, they can be treated with an expectation that things will not turn out how they want them to. Sometimes, people like to blame doctors who aren’t able to make them feel better, but recovery from a serious injury or illness completely depends on who’s involved and their body responds to the treatment. Medicine is not guaranteed to work for everyone, which is why it is certainly not considered malpractice to fail a plan for treatment. Malpractice laws are not in place to lend a hand to the unfortunate, but to make sure that people are getting fair treatment and the best approach for tackling a health issue.

Testimony From an Expert

A critical part of determining malpractice is to get advice from someone who is very familiar and comfortable with the industry. Someone like a medical malpractice lawyer can be a big help in these situations as well as to help you come out on top in the courtroom. In almost all cases, testimony from an expert is required by state law during a trial. Medical malpractice is not something that is taken lightly, so you can rest assured that you’re in good hands after talking to an attorney or expert in this department.

Medical Officials Panel

When a patient makes a medical malpractice claim, it is taken seriously right from the very start. After the initial paperwork is done, a panel in the medical field has a meeting to determine if the person has a potential case. It’s important to know that this panel cannot replace a real trial in a courtroom, nor award damages, but this is one step that someone must do in order to officially file a malpractice situation. After all the evidence that is presented to the group is reviewed, it is then decided if this is a case of medical malpractice or not. Obviously, the ones that are real cases move forward to the legal system.

Image source Wikipedia

Aches and pains happen from time to time, especially as we get a little older. However, when you’re relatively young, specific aches and pains can tell a different story altogether. An intrauterine device (IUD) can cause some of the aches and pains you feel. This can lead to more significant problems if the pain is due to your IUD shifting. You sometimes confuse your IUD pain with monthly cramps, especially if it’s happening around your time of the month. We’ll look at the subtle differences between IUD pains and monthly cramps and help you understand which one is happening.


The IUD has been around for ages, its acronym IUD stands for IntraUterine Device. This birth control device is implanted inside the woman’s uterus via vaginal insertion and helps neutralize the risk of pregnancy by acting as an internal barrier against sperm traveling through to the egg. There is usually some discomfort and pain during implantation and the first few days of having the device. The real issue happens if the IUD shifts or moves against your cervix. Shifting doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does, it’s quite painful. If the device has moved upon digital inspection, you’ll need to consult with a doctor or medical practitioner to adjust the IUD back or to take out and reinsert it.  Here’s a few frequently asked questions about the side effects of using an IUD that we put together for you.


Cramps, or dysmenorrhea, are a way of life for women monthly during their menstrual cycle. The degree of cramps and pain associated with a period varies from women to women. Some women report no cramps or pain while some report heavy cramps and horrible pain. These pains are usually felt in the lower back and the lower abdomen, and typically last for a few days during the menstruation period. Nausea and headaches can also happen alongside cramps. Under normal circumstances, the pain usually subsides after five or seven days.


One of the first things you can do is check for any movement in your IUD. If you can’t feel the strings, or if the strings are uneven, then the IUD has moved. You’ll need to visit your doctor. You can also target where the pain is coming from to figure out which one it is. If the pain is deeply-rooted inside your uterus, specifically from your cervix, then you can put two-and-two together and chalk up the distress to your IUD shifting onto your cervix. If the pain is a “general” pain that sits in your lower abdomen or your lower back and it’s during your menstruation period, you can ascribe the pain to menstrual cramps.

Menstrual cramps can’t be gotten rid of. The best you can do is to control the pain with over-the-counter pain relievers. The pains will slowly subside as you draw nearer to the end of your menstrual period. In some cases, resting with a heating pad on your back or abdomen will also help with the cramps and pains associated with them. For questions and help related to Dysmenorrhea or IUD’s, consult with your doctor or medical practitioner to get your questions answered.


Cryotherapy is essentially cold therapy. Cold therapy has been around for decades, possibly even centuries, although only recently the true science around its benefits are being realised. In fact, the benefits of being submerged into an extreme temperature -110° Celsius (166°F) is a lot more recent, with the first whole body cryotherapy chamber being invested in the late 1970s in Japan.

Whole body cryotherapy (WBC) is just that. You get yourself in a chamber, where around -110°C cold air is blown on you for around 2 to 4 minutes. It is either refrigerated cold air or liquid nitrogen that is used. It is necessary to wear few clothing, only gloves, socks, a mouth, ear and nose mask that are usually wear for protection.Whilst cryotherapy doesn’t have many serious risks, precautions should be taken to avoid side effects (such as starting off easy i.e. 2 minutes maximum for the first session.) So, why do it? Here are some of the main benefits that have been studied and discovered.

Physical benefits

Most of us are aware of the benefits of old school cold therapy such as ice baths. WBC shares some of these benefits but given its more extreme nature, it has some unique ones too.

  • Pain relief – muscle pain is a nightmare for those who do lots of sports or exercise. Cryotherapy can increase the blood flow and relieve the pain as well as accelerate the healing process. It’s not just for athletes though. People with arthritis and general muscle pains have found great relief from using WBCs.
  • Inflammation – Inflammation can be reduced through the use of cryotherapy. Chronic inflammation is linked to problems like dementia, diabetes and cancer.
  • Weight loss – Cryotherapy has a lot of evidence for directly aiding weight loss. The therapy can increase metabolism, expend more energy (calories) to stay warm and finally it allows those with muscle injuries/pain to recover faster, thus increasing their potential for exercise. The increase in basal metabolic rate means we burn fat that’s stored.
  • Skin – Some eczema sufferers have seen improvements from the use of cryotherapy. It is also shown to rejuvenate skin and make it softer. The cold should also close skin pores.

Mental benefits 

Back in the early 1900s, it was common to treat mental illness patients, for example those with psychosis, by putting them in an ice bath. This may be as futile as it was barbaric, but it doesn’t mean there are no benefits for our mental health by cold treatment. 

Plucking up the courage voluntarily put yourself through the adversity of an uncomfortable and freezing cold experience is character building in itself. If you can do that, even if it’s as benign as a cold shower, then you’re less likely to spend the rest of the day following the path of least resistance (being a couch potato). 

Whilst you wouldn’t regularly do whole body cryotherapy like you do cold showers, they are an uncomfortable experience for many. Submerging into minus -110°C  temperatures (authentic cryotherapy) is thought to help reduce the risk of developing dementia (due to the reduced inflammation), as well as reduce anxiety and depression.

Image source Pixabay

When you are choosing floors for your home, it is incredibly important that you consider both the material you use and its durability in addition to the colour and style. One type of floor which will always look classy and timeless no matter what is oak laminate flooring. This might be the perfect addition to your home and it will seamlessly tie into a few different styles. Here are some of the best rooms for you to lay down oak laminate flooring.


If you have a hallway from your front door instead of just opening straight into a room then you might want to look into an oak laminate floor for the flooring. This will create a beautiful room which will serve as a fantastic place to welcome people into your home from. The hallway is the first place visitors will see when they come in so you want it to be as impactful as possible.

You might think that laminate flooring is not hard-wearing enough to protect against all the wear and tear a hallway might face. However, it is an incredibly hard-wearing surface and it will last much longer than you think. What’s more, it is also incredibly easy to keep clean so no matter how much mud you trek in, it will be easy to clean up again.


The right oak laminate flooring can make for a beautiful and unusual floor for a bathroom. Most people would expect a tile or a vinyl floor for a bathroom but a laminate floor can create just as interesting an impact if used correctly.

Just make sure you get a waterproof one if you decide to opt for an oak laminate flooring for a bathroom. Laminate flooring has a tendency to warp if too much water gets on it; something which is not ideal for a bathroom. Waterproof laminate flooring has been properly treated to ensure that it cannot warp in the same ways.

Living Room

A family’s living room is used for a variety of things. Some people like to use it as a place to come together to watch television, others use it as a place to chill out with a book, and some even use it as a place to eat. With all uses comes the chances for spills and scuffs from furniture being moved out.

You need a floor which is going to stand up to whatever your family can throw at it. This is why oak laminate flooring is one of the best options you could choose. It is durable and, with a little protection for your floors in the form of felt stoppers on the feet of your furniture, it should last you a very long time.

These are just some of the rooms you could place oak laminate flooring. It is by far one of the most versatile floors out there and will help you to create a beautiful room no matter where you try to use it in your home. Choose the first room you are going to place oak laminate flooring in today!

Image source Pixabay

Autumn is the perfect time to start thinking about some of the ways you can make your bedroom all the more cosy and snug in preparation for the cold winter months. From something as simple as new bedding to completely overhauling how the room looks, there are plenty of ways you can get prepared as the nights get longer.

A New Colour Scheme

If you feel like your room is a little bit tired then one of the first things you can do is change out the colour scheme. A new wall colour might be the perfect thing you need to reset things and make everything feel like you have just moved in again. Try to go with no more than three colours if possible. You should try to aim for something either bright or dark, an accent colour, and a neutral to tie them all together.

You can even very easily rejig the room so you can easily switch things out if you like to change things frequently. All you need to do is opt for something neutral for the walls and furniture. Focus the colours in the soft furnishings and other things which are going to be easy to change.

Laminate Flooring

While you might first think that a carpet would be best for a bedroom, especially when going into winter, you might be surprised to learn that laminate flooring is also a great option. One of the key reasons why laminate flooring is just as good is that it is one of the flooring types that can have underfloor heating placed underneath it.

This is truly a touch of luxury and can completely transform your bedroom. Whilst it is lovely to dig your toes into a thick carpet on a cold winter’s morning, being able to step directly onto a warm floor is just as nice.

Better Bedding

You might think that your current bedding is fine but the colder winter weather is the perfect excuse to invest in a thick duvet and some high-quality bedding. For the winter, you want a duvet which is about 13.5 tog to help keep you warm. You can also find many amazing blankets to heap on top and help you keep even warmer.

The material of the bedding itself is incredibly important too. For winter, we would recommend brushed cotton. It has all the advantages of cotton such as breathability whilst also being incredibly warm and cosy. With this on your bed, you will want to curl up and never get out again!

Update Your Wardrobe

When was the last time you went through all of your clothes and decided what you want to keep? If the answer was not very recently then you should definitely think about doing a sort through; especially if you have bought new wardrobes as part of your update. It is much nicer to fill the new wardrobe and have some room for new purchases instead of cramming everything you currently own into the new one.

If you cannot cut down your wardrobe, or you feel like you still don’t have enough space, consider buying some discrete storage for under the bed. This will allow you to put your bulky winter clothing out the way in summer while also allowing you to put some of your nicer summer dresses away when you aren’t going to be wearing them.

Think About Lighting

Most people light their bedrooms very simply with a pendant light above and a bedside light for when it is time to go to sleep. However, redecorating offers you the perfect chance to play with lighting in your room. The way you light your room can actually help you to zone your room quite successfully.

Do you have a designated dressing area? You can now source lights quite easily which brightly light your face when doing your makeup and can even change colour to let you know how you will look in different light sources. If you have a desk, a small lamp here can help you feel like it is a place to work in. Finally, check that your bedside lights aren’t too bright. You want to be able to comfortably read in bed but you don’t want them to be so bright that you may as well have the top light on.

Consider Cutting Down on the Electronics

It has been shown time and time again that too much blue light can seriously interfere with your sleep patterns. Being able to watch TV in bed is a true luxury but it is not always the best for your night’s sleep. As difficult as it might be, try to move your television out of your bedroom and save that piece of luxury for hotels.

Likewise, if you use your phone as your alarm clock, try to place it on night mode when you are sleeping and make sure it is not in the bed with you. Have a side table you can definitively place it on to keep it out the way. The night mode will also save your eyes from the harsh blue light of the phone if you wake up early and want to check the time. If you are using a digital alarm clock instead, make sure that it has some sort of night mode.

Make It You

No matter what you are doing, you need to make sure that your remodel is completely and utterly you in design. Everyone would like a room to look like it is straight from a magazine but that just isn’t always feasible. If you prefer a certain configuration of furniture, make sure you put it in. Hang up photos, put a vase of your favourite flowers on your chest of drawers. It is your bedroom and you need to make sure that it is a place you want to stay in, no matter what.

Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, of the University of Oxford and Francis Crick Institute, William G. Kaelin, of Harvard, and Gregg L. Semenza, of Johns Hopkins University share this year’s Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.

The three scientists discovered how cells sense and adapt to oxygen levels.

Their work is leading to new treatments for anemia and even cancer.

The role of oxygen-sensing is also being investigated in diseases from heart failure to chronic lung disease.

Image source Twitter

The Swedish Academy, which awards the prize, said: “The fundamental importance of oxygen has been understood for centuries but how cells adapt to changes in levels of oxygen has long been unknown.”

Peter Ratcliffe said: “I’m honored and delighted at the news.

“It’s a tribute to the lab, to those who helped me set it up and worked with me on the project over the years, to many others in the field, and not least to my family for their forbearance of all the up and downs.”

2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Awarded for Groundbreaking Work on Parasitic Diseases

The oxygen-sensing ability of the body has a role in the immune system and the earliest stages of development inside the womb.

If oxygen levels are low, it can trigger the production of red blood cells or the construction of blood vessels to remedy this.

More red blood cells mean the body is able to carry more oxygen and is why athletes train at altitude.

Oxygen levels vary in the body, particularly:

  • during exercise
  • at high altitude
  • after a wound disrupts the blood supply

And when they drop, cells rapidly have to adapt their metabolism.

So, drugs that mimic it may be an effective treatment for anemia.

Tumors, meanwhile, can hijack this process to selfishly create new blood vessels and grow.

So, drugs that reverse it may help halt cancer.

Levels of hormone erythropoietin (EPO) were shown to rise as those of oxygen fell.

The scientists discovered this was because a cluster of proteins called hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) was changing the behavior of DNA, the genetic code.

Further work showed when oxygen levels were normal, cells constantly produced HIF only for it to be destroyed by another protein, VHL.

However, when oxygen levels fell, VHL could no longer stick to HIF, leading to the build-up sufficient levels to change the behavior of DNA.


Image by Daniel Stuhlpfarrer from Pixabay

During the Winter months, when the temperatures are freezing and the snow is piling up, the desire to curl up by the fire with a good book, a cup of hot chocolate, and some freshly baked cookies is only natural. But when your desire to hibernate becomes all-consuming, and all you want to do is stay indoors and sleep until Spring, it could be a sign of a problem.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sometimes called the “Winter Blues” affects as many as 10 million Americans every year. What makes SAD different from other forms of depression is that the symptoms — which include social withdrawal, fatigue, sleep disturbances, sadness, irritability, weight changes, and an increased desire for starchy foods — is that it’s directly tied to a change in the seasons, and the symptoms resolve on their own when the days get longer. Most experts agree that it’s the reduced exposure to sunlight that causes SAD, as it disrupts the natural production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our natural sleep cycle. Other possible causes of SAD include reduced levels of serotonin, and a deficiency in vitamin D, which contributes to reduced serotonin levels.

Regardless of the cause, there’s no need to suffer through a long Winter with depression. Although some people benefit from psychotherapy and medication to help alleviate their symptoms, lifestyle changes with a focus on exercise and a commitment to healthy sleep can reduce the symptoms of SAD.

The Exercise – Winter Blues Connection

Although there are several ways to treat the symptoms of the Winter Blues, including light therapy, one of the most effective is exercise. Even though you might feel like staying indoors for a Netflix marathon, physical activity is vital to preventing many of the effects of sunlight. Research indicates that 30-60 minutes of exercise each day can help manage symptoms.

Exercise helps control seasonal depression for several reasons. For starters, research indicates that exercise can work as well as antidepressants for some people. This is due in part to the endorphins, so called “happy” chemicals that help you feel better during and after a workout. In addition to endorphins, though, working out also increases the production of growth factor proteins, which improve your brain function by increasing nerve cell growth and new connections, in particular in the hippocampus. This increased brain function can improve mood, reducing the feelings of depression.

Even without all of the benefits to the brain, though, staying active during the colder months can help you avoid SAD in other ways. Exercising outdoors, for instance, will expose you to beneficial sunlight — even on a cloudy day — which can help spur vitamin D production and support your natural circadian rhythms and allow you to maintain a normal sleep cycle. Just getting outside for some fresh air can help you feel more energetic, and working out with friends and family helps you maintain those important connections that can boost your mood and get you through the long Winter.

Exercise, Sleep, and Depression

One of the most common symptoms of Winter depression is a change in sleeping habits. While some people suffer from insomnia, it’s actually more common to grapple with hypersomnia, or sleeping too much. This is due in large part to the changes in light. Shorter days and less natural sunlight disrupts melatonin production, throwing your sleep cycle out of balance. Melatonin essentially triggers your body to sleep when it’s dark and wake when it’s light, but when it’s dark for a larger part of the day, it’s difficult to maintain this natural rhythm.

So how can you combat the changes to your sleep schedule that Winter can bring? One of the best options is exercise. Multiple studies have shown that exercise benefits people with insomnia, with the best exercises to help you sleep moderate-intensity aerobic workouts like walking. At the same time, exercise is beneficial to hypersomnia, as it can help increase the production of melatonin, especially when you exercise outdoors in the early morning. Regularly working out in the morning triggers your body to create melatonin in the evening, so you can maintain a normal sleep schedule.

Of course, when it’s cold in the morning, getting out of a warm and cozy bed to work out can feel like the last you want to do. It can be easier to do when you get plenty of sleep at night, but avoiding some of the other habits that can come with SAD will also help regulate your sleep. For example, stick to a healthy diet, rather than constantly indulging in the creamy, starchy comfort foods you crave, and be conscious of your calorie intake if you are less active than normal so you don;t gain weight, which can affect your mood.

And while outdoor exercise is ideal, have some alternative options for indoor activities on days when the weather keeps you indoors. Do an exercise video at home, try a yoga class, or head to the skating rink for a few hours. Think about how you can exercise anywhere, and you’ll help improve your mood and your sleep all the way through to Spring.

Image by 广扬 罗 from Pixabay

A succulent is a modest plant that makes a big statement. Think about it: rows and rows of potted plants with carved leaves arranged in intricate arrangements inside your family room.

The very fact that these plant heroes don’t need much fuss and care to keep them alive should make you their biggest fan! Of course, like any plant-life, they come with their own basic instructions manual that you must follow, if you’d like them to stay fresh and springy.

Tip #1: Drainage matters

This is an important one. When choosing the pots/container for your succulents, consider the containers they come in. Your local florist will be able to help you out with this. Florists usually keep scores of containers for floral arrangements and they deliver, too.

And if you’re lucky, you might get same-day delivery. That is if your florist is anything like Pearsons Florists. The containers you order need to have adequate drainage without appearing clunky.

Succulents don’t need much water, but even on occasion, it should be drained properly.

Tip #2: ‘Tis the season to water

It’s a popular misconception that succulents don’t need much water to thrive. This is completely wrong, however, so don’t put away your watering cans.

Succulents need to be watered according to specific seasons. Water your plants in the spring and summer seasons more frequently, followed by occasional sprays of water in oncoming months.

These tough little plants like to soak up water and retain it for colder months, so make sure they have enough to get them through.

Tip #3: Don’t spray away

You might be an expert at knowing when to water your succulents, but chances are, you’re not aware of where to do it.

Essentially, succulents don’t need to be watered on their surface, unless you’re cleaning them of course. Make sure to spray water directly into the soil and do this until you see water escaping the drainage holes.

This will ensure that water has been absorbed all the way through.

Tip #4: Avoid spring cleaning

When misting/spraying succulents on their leaves, it’s better to be cautious. This is because frequent misting or spraying can cause mold or rot to flower on the leaves.

Pungent mold can kill off your beautiful succulents so refrain from generous misting!

Tip #5: Let there be light

Succulents love light! If you have them, don’t keep them away from sunlight. However, make sure you rotate the containers so they’re not placed in the way of direct, scorching sunlight.

This is especially true for new succulents that are exposed to too much light. If this happens, their leaves will get scorched.

Think of them as babies with tough skin. Light exposure should be gradual, minimal and changeable. On the other hand, for older and tougher plants, make sure to rotate them frequently. This is so one side doesn’t absorb more sunlight than the other.

We hope these easy tips will help you care for your beloved succulents and keep them alive! Happy gardening.


The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey claim to have more than 33% of women and one in 12 men have encountered life-partner violence in their lifetime.

             What would be a good idea for you to do?

If you are charged with a domestic violence offence, you should seek advice immediately from experts like Marsh Blom Lawyers. You will be guided thoroughly and professionally which will make the things easier and smoother for you to handle properly.

Moreover, in case you’re in a fix about what you can do to help, you should study the following tips.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

                Effective Measures to Stop Domestic Violence

Here are 7 points you can adopt to help prevent domestic violence at home.

  1. Know the warning signs

White, black, young, old, rich, poor, educated, uneducated__ anyone can fall a prey to domestic violence at home. Sometime viciousness starts from the get-go in a relationship and on different occasions it takes months or even a long time to show up. On the other hand, some warning signs happen to appear. Be careful about the red flags an abuser may show anytime in a relationship:

  • Being envious of your companions or time spent away from your partner.
  • Disheartening you from investing time away from your partner.
  • Humiliating or disgracing you.
  • Controlling every budgetary choice.
  • Making you feel remorseful for all the issues in the relationship.
  • Preventing you from working.
  • Deliberately damaging your property.
  • Undermining brutality against you, your pets or somebody you like to gain obedience.
  • Pressurizing you to engage in sexual relations when you would prefer not to.
  • Threatening you physically, particularly with weapons.

2. Don’t overlook it

Cops hear something very similar from witnesses over and over—I heard/saw domestic violence but would not like to get engaged. If you hear your neighbours involved in a violent situation, call the police. This is your social and moral responsibility to keep your society free of the evils like domestic violence. It could help to spare a life in the end.

3. Hear out

If somebody ever opens his heart to you that they are encountering domestic violence at home, tune in without judgment. Accept what they are letting you know and ask how you can help. Your patient and attentive listening will not only console their heart but may also go a long way towards solving the issue sensibly.

4. Be available

If somebody you know is intending to leave or is in fear that the violence may shoot up, be prepared to help. Your cell phone should be with you with the ringer on, make sure your car tank is full and talk about a runaway plan or meeting place early. Mind it that your prompt availability counts a lot in many respects.

5. Keep the nearby shelter number

Nobody ever knows who may need a haven in no time. Keep numbers to shelters and your cell phone is equipped with the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

6. Check consistently as well as randomly

If a loved one or friend is in peril, connect routinely to guarantee their security. You may keep in touch off and on as well. It will keep the victim well boosted and motivated all the time to face the things confidently.

7. Be empathic

Somebody encountering violence will most likely be unable to research shelters, escape plans or set up necessities like bank balances and mobile phones while living with their abuser. Offer to do the legwork to help ease stress and keep things hush-hush.


Domestic violence in our society is in full swing. To cope with it, we need to pursue some effective techniques.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is planning to use a second Ebola vaccine to help control an outbreak that has killed more than 2,100 people.

In July, former Health Minister Oly Ilunga opposed the vaccine use saying it had not been proved effective.

However, DR Congo health officials say the vaccine, developed by Johnson & Johnson, is safe.

This outbreak, in the east of DR Congo, is the second largest on record.

The largest was the epidemic that ravaged parts of West Africa from 2014 to 2016, killing more than 11,000 people.

According to a government statement, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will complement the vaccine manufactured by Merck which has been administered to 225,000 people in the past year.

However, DR Congo’s Ebola response team have not yet said when it will be introduced.

Leading health experts have said that the second vaccine is safe and could be an important tool in holding back the spread of the virus.

Earlier this year, Johnson & Johnson said it had 1.5 million doses available to be deployed.

The current Ebola vaccine, which is in short supply, is only being given to health workers and people who might have been exposed to the virus.

The new vaccine could create a protective wall, vaccinating people outside the immediate outbreak zone.

The Congolese authorities intend to use the second vaccine outside the infected areas in Ituri and North Kivu provinces. They first want to protect the small Congolese traders who regularly cross into Rwanda.

There have been concerns that the new vaccine – which requires two injections at least 25 days apart – may be difficult to administer in a region where the population is highly mobile, and insecurity is rife.

The Merck vaccine requires just one injection.

Ebola Outbreak Declared in DR Congo

Ebola Vaccine VSB- EBOV Leads to 100% Protection

DR Congo has struggled to get the outbreak under control.

Insecurity in the east of the country and people’s suspicions of treatments have hampered efforts.

About 200 health facilities have been attacked in the country this year, causing disruption to vaccinations and treatments. In one incident, family members assaulted health workers who were overseeing the burial of their relative.

A 2018 study published in the Lancet medical journal says “belief in misinformation was widespread” concerning the Ebola outbreak.

In a statement in August, the World Health Organization (WHO) called on countries and NGOs that have offered help to “increase their presence in the field to stop Ebola and to address one of the largest and most complex humanitarian crises in the world”.

The current outbreak in eastern DR Congo began in August last year and is the biggest of 10 to hit the country since 1976, when the virus was first discovered.

In July, the WHO declared the Ebola crisis in the DR Congo a “public health emergency of international concern”.


Forms of birth control have been around for decades, and after the fog of shame and congressional gatekeeping lifted in the 1960s, birth control became more available and prevalent. One of the most popular and effective forms of birth control has been the IUD. The IUD or Intrauterine Device was initially conceived in 1909 when Dr. Richard Richter used insertions of a silkwood ring into the uterus.

In the 1920s, Dr. Ernest Grafenberg and Dr. Karl Prust also created silkwood rings for uterine insertion with varying degrees of modification to Richter’s original design. These IUD’s were reported to have an effective rate of 97% against pregnancies. Dr. Grafenberg, in a later revision, used pure silver around the ring and unfortunately, the women’s bodies absorbed the silver with their gums turning blue and black (gingival argyrosis). He used a silver alloy made from a mix of different metals, including copper, which alleviated the silver absorption problem and also increased the effective rate to 98.4% against pregnancy.

Image source: Wikipedia

Copper would play a part later on in the century with doctors discovering the effect that copper has on sperm, which increased effectiveness against pregnancy to 99%. These copper-wired IUD’s would later come into the market in 1988 under the Paragard name.

There have been some misfires on the road to the IUD’s of today. The A.H. Robins Company in 1971 put an IUD on the market called the Dalkon Shield. The marketing for this IUD was aggressive and was priced modestly compared to other IUD’s on the market. In 1974, it was pulled from the market due to a poorly-designed removal string that caused bacteria to enter the uterus. These bacteria caused thousands of women to develop Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), infertility, and in some cases, sepsis. There were over 300,000 lawsuits filed against A.H. Robins in the late 1970s which caused the company to go bankrupt and fold.

There are five different kinds of IUD brands today, which consist of Skyla, Kyleena, Lilleta, Mirena, and Paragard. The first four are known as hormonal IUD’s because they contain the hormone Progestin (Levonorgestrel) which mimics the naturally-produced hormone Progesterone. These hormones help thicken mucus in the cervix, which can block and trap sperm from reaching the egg. In some cases, the hormones can stop the egg from leaving the ovaries, which eliminates the chance of impregnation due to no egg being available.

The fifth one listed, Paragard, is a copper-wrapped IUD with no hormones which can protect against pregnancy for 12 years. This is the most extended protection of any IUD available. The hormonal IUD’s protection range lasts anywhere from three years (Skyla) to seven years (Mirena and Lilleta). Paragard also carries the most risk associated with using it. Women have reported more massive period flows and more menstrual pain in comparison with other IUD’s. You can’t use Paragard if you’re allergic to copper or if you suffer from Wilson’s Disease.

One of the IUDs pros is that once it’s in, you’re done. Under normal circumstances, you can leave it in until you reach the end of its useful life. IUD’s also have the highest effectiveness against pregnancy short of total abstinence.

The cons of using an IUD are in the insertion process, which can be a bit painful. The pain could last for a few days after insertion, and there’s always a risk that the IUD could shift or even fall out, but that risk is small under normal circumstances.

If you’re interested in an IUD, please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner to learn more, we also created an FAQ the explains the process for getting an IUD.


You count on doctors to keep you strong and healthy, but they can do better jobs when you take primary responsibility. Considering that medical visits can be expensive even with insurance coverage, appropriate attention to your own health helps make the most of each visit — and avoid unnecessary office returns.

Most importantly, the more you know about self-care, the better your overall health can be.


These Tips Can Help You Be The Best Possible You

You don’t have to spend too much time or money if you make tips like these a habit.

#1. Monitor at Home

Most people have a thermometer in the house, but how many have their own blood pressure monitors? Even this type of test is only the beginning; there are home tests available for a surprisingly wide variety of conditions. You already know about the availability of home pregnancy and drug tests. But, did you know that tests are also available for infections, cholesterol, thyroid levels and many other things?

These tests are not replacements for doctor-administered versions, but they can alert you to the need to make lifestyle changes— and when to seek medical attention.

#2. Communicate Freely

Whether you’ve known your doctor for a long time, or even if you are going to your first visit, the best way to ensure proper treatment of your medical issues is to tell the whole truth. Include all details even if some of them seem embarrassing or unimportant. Between visits, be sure to keep a list of questions and complaints so you’ll be ready to impart all information next time.

You might also consider talking to trusted friends and family members. While their advice does not replace discussions with your doctor, you might be surprised by how often their past experiences can identify potential medical conditions. Expressing these theories to your doctor can be very helpful.

#3. Avoid Risky Behavior

Few people go out of their way to treat their bodies badly. Still, a fast food burger that you can eat while driving is a typical go-to when you don’t have time to sit down and eat a healthy salad. Whether you need to quit smoking or stop eating so many sugary and fatty foods, attempting to correct everything at once is overwhelming.

Select one habit to tackle at a time to make your goals achievable. While you’re addressing one issue, however, continue to be mindful of the other bad behaviors. This motivational practice will make every habit easier to deal with when the time comes.

Finally, keep in mind that moderation is a great goal that helps you avoid feeling so deprived that you eventually binge. Clearly, moderation does not apply to cigarettes and other addictive substances. However, if your health objectives are well under control, feel free to go to Bacon Fest, but just for an hour.

#4. Maintain Your Own Medical Records

As years go by, you amass records that reveal medical patterns that may be enlightening in the future. Unfortunately, medical offices seldom provide copies of those records to patients, even though you have a legal right to obtain them. Since you seldom see the same doctor over a lifetime, knowledge of your medical history can bring new doctors up to speed.

You may have to pay your doctor’s office to print out hard copies that you can pick up in person. Electronic copies might be available at little or no cost, but privacy laws do not permit transmission by email. You can, however, obtain healthcare records by fax to help you regain control over your own healthcare.

#5. Find Ways to Deal With Stress

Very few people can avoid all stress. But, since many physical ailments are actually signs of stress, you need to learn to recognize the symptoms and take action to bring it down to a reasonable level.

First, determine if some of your stress can be completely eliminated. If your workload is unmanageable, try to find people who can help ease the burden, whether they are co-workers or even your family members. Also, try to determine how much of your stress is not necessary. A golden rule is to stop worrying about things that haven’t happened yet unless you can pre-plan methods for dealing with them.

For unavoidable stress, regular exercise is a great way to relax. A walk through nice scenery and music from tweeting birds is like tonic for the soul. Yoga is also very healthful, while the required concentration on each pose creates meditation-like calmness. If you are digitally minded, find a smart phone relaxation app that you can pull out of your pocket on an as-needed basis.

You May Live Beyond 100, So Make it Good

The number of centenarians in the U.S. alone is currently about 72,000. That number is growing, and predictions indicate that it might grow to around a million by 2050. Most people agree that advanced age is a benefit only to those in good health. You can’t avoid every ache and pain that is inevitable with aging, but you can have a long, rewarding life by taking primary responsibility for your own health.


Each medicine has side-effects. That you are so helpless against these side effects relies upon various elements, which can be commonly assembled as patient-related, drug-related, and ecological or social-related. See whether you have many qualities that will expand your vulnerability to drug-related reactions. Moreover, what you can do to deal with some of these possible side-effects.

Risk of Developing Side Effects

Every one of us is unique. However, certain individual factors make a few of us bound to develop side effects than others.

The most significant of these factors is age. The very young and the very old are often more vulnerable to undesirable reactions.

List of Common Drug Side Effects

The followings are some of the more commonly encountered drug-related side-effects and recommendations for their management.

1. Allergic Reactions

A doctor issuing a prescription for the wrong dosage faces failure to consider a patient’s allergies. Ultimately, the patient has to seek assistance from the law experts like Cleveland medical negligence lawyer to get compensated.

  • Potentially could happen with any prescription.
  • Symptoms go from a mild rash to a severe anaphylactic reaction.

Prevention and management strategies:

  • Seek emergency help if the reaction is severe.
  • If the allergic reaction is affirmed as happening because of that drug, keep away from it and other related medicines later on.
  • Wear a medical alert tag to caution others to the drug you are allergic too.

2. Blurred Vision

It may happen with antihistamines, antipsychotics, bupivacaine, bupropion, duloxetine, esomeprazole, etodolac, gabapentin, narcotics, and a few different drugs.

Prevention and management strategies:

  • Talk to your doctor about switching drugs.
  • Ointment eye drops may help.
  • Abstain from driving with weakened vision.

3. Bruising and Bleeding

They commonly happen with meds that “thin the blood, for example, aspirin, clopidogrel, enoxaparin, and warfarin. They are likewise regular with NSAIDs, steroids, and meds to treat cancer.

Prevention and management strategies:

  • Try to abstain from knocking yourself into furniture.
  • Cuts may take more time to quit bleeding. Hold a bandage over the affected area and apply pressure.
  • Seek emergency help if you have an injury that bleeds profusely or doesn’t quit bleeding within 15 minutes.

4. Constipation 

It is very common with narcotics, diuretics, calcium antagonists, and antidepressants, aluminium-containing antacids settling agents, ondansetron, and iron supplements.

Prevention and management strategies:

  • Increase water intake and the fibre content of your diet.
  • Exercise, if possible.
  • If mellow, talk to your doctor about taking purgatives, for example, docusate, sennosides, or psyllium.
  • If severe and brought about by narcotics, talk to your doctor about methylnaltrexone or naloxegol.

5. Cough

It is normal with ACE inhibitors.

Prevention and management strategies:

  • Talk to your doctor about switching drugs.
  • Normally settle one-to about fourteen days after the cessation.

6. Dehydration

It is also common with antihistamines, blood pressure meds, chemotherapy, and laxatives.

Prevention and management strategies:

  • Drink liquids. Cooled or frosted fluids may go down simpler.
  • Eat moist foods, for example, products, vegetables, and soups.
  • Consistently moisturize the skin and apply lip balm.
  • Apply lubricants to lips to evade painful cracking.


A few different factors also play a major role in the probability of side-effects. Some notable examples include:

  • Genetics
  • Kidney function
  • Gender


There’s something about the long, hot days of summer that have us hankering for a sense of lightness and peace in our homes. When it’s 95 degrees outside and the sun hasn’t set by 8 p.m., we don’t want to see heavy plaid comforters on our beds or dark colors on our walls, nor do we want to sit on formal-feeling furniture.

While you understandably don’t have the money in your budget to remodel each room of your home from top to bottom for each new season, there are plenty of affordable ways to bring summertime décor trends into your home. 

For example, check out these three easy ideas:

1. Become a Minimalist — At Least for Now

During the summer months, store away as many unneeded and unused items as possible. According to Better Homes and Gardens, think of your casa as a summer vacation home and thereby go about storing away the wintry throws, dozens of knickknacks and other items that are cluttering up the room. 

Then, pull the curtains open to bring in plenty of natural light and, if it’s not too hot outside, open some windows or doors to let in some cool morning air. You can bring all the warm and heavy items back out once fall comes, but for now, pare down each room to the essentials.

2. Add Splashes of Bright and Cheerful Colors

While you might associate fall and winter with deep tones like burgundy, rich reds, evergreen and browns, summer is all about light and cheery colors. To celebrate this trend, you could paint an accent wall a vivid blue, yellow or lime green; after all, a gallon of paint is pretty easy on the wallet. Similarly, if you’re in need of a new sofa, skip the neutral tan or grey model for one that has a cheerier color. 

For instance, the Dahlia sofa from Jerome’s Furniture is covered with a turquoise fabric, along with a couple of accent pillows that complement the color of the sofa. The turquoise color is perfect for the summer months and can be “warmed up” a bit in the fall and winter with the addition of cream-colored fleece blankets and maybe a few extra pillows with autumn leaf or snowflake motifs.

3. Channel Your Inner Museum Curator

If you’ve had the same pieces of art hanging on your walls for years, summer is the ideal time to brighten up your space with some new choices. Indeed, you could switch out framed prints every season for a super-fast and easy way to change the look and feel of your home. Simply store the unused prints in the back of a closet.

Now, if you still love your posters, sculptures and framed artwork, you certainly don’t have to trash them; just consider temporarily replacing a few of the old pieces with cheerful floral prints or an abstract painting with lots of bright colors. Then, when the weather turns cool again, put the summer pieces away and bring out the more formal paintings.

Make Your Home Sing “Summer”

Before you know it, the days will get shorter and the mercury in the thermometer will begin to drop. Until then, celebrate summer in and around your home by embracing the minimalist lifestyle, adding in lots of color and bringing in some new artwork. Your home ⁠— and your mood ⁠— will feel lighter and brighter.


Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is caused by inhaled asbestos fibers and forms in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart.

The disease is most often diagnosed after a person goes to a doctor because of symptoms. If there is a reason to suspect you might have mesothelioma, your doctor will use one or more tests to find out. Symptoms might suggest that the problem could be mesothelioma, but tests will be needed to confirm the diagnosis.

Medical history and physical exam

If you have any signs or symptoms that suggest you might have mesothelioma, your doctor will want to take a complete medical history to learn about your symptoms and possible risk factors, especially asbestos exposure. You will also be asked about your general health.

A physical exam can provide information about possible signs of mesothelioma and other health problems. Pleural mesothelioma can cause fluid to build up around the lungs in the chest (called a pleural effusion). In cases of peritoneal mesothelioma, fluid can build up in the abdomen (called ascites). In pericardial mesothelioma, fluid builds up in the sac around the heart (called a pericardial effusion). Rarely, mesothelioma can develop in the groin and look like a hernia. All of these might be found during a physical exam, such as when the doctor listens to these areas with a stethoscope.

Mesothelioma: Signs and Symptoms of Asbestos Cancer

Mesothelioma: How Is Asbestos Cancer Diagnosed?

If mesothelioma is a possibility, tests will be needed to make sure. These might include imaging tests, blood tests, and other procedures.

Malignant epithelioid mesothelioma
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Imaging tests

Imaging tests use x-rays, radioactive particles, or magnetic fields to create pictures of the inside of your body. Imaging tests may be done for a number of reasons, including to help find a suspicious area that might be cancerous, to learn how far cancer may have spread, and to help determine if treatment has been effective.

Chest X-Ray

This is often the first test done if someone has symptoms such as a constant cough or shortness of breath. It may show an abnormal thickening of the pleura, calcium deposits on the pleura, fluid in the space between the lungs and the chest wall, or changes in the lungs themselves as a result of asbestos exposure. These findings could suggest a mesothelioma.

Computed tomography (CT) scan

The CT scan is an x-ray test that produces detailed cross-sectional images of your body. Instead of taking one picture, like a regular x-ray, a CT scanner takes many pictures as it rotates around you while you are lying on a narrow table. A computer then combines these into images of slices of the body. Unlike a regular x-ray, a CT scan creates detailed images of the soft tissues in the body.

CT scans are often used to help look for mesothelioma and to determine the exact location of the cancer. They can also help stage the cancer (determine the extent of its spread). For example, they can show whether the cancer has spread to other organs. This can help to determine if surgery might be a treatment option. Finally, CT scans can be used to learn whether treatment such as chemotherapy has been helpful in shrinking or slowing the growth of the cancer.


This test uses sound waves to look at the heart. It may be done if your doctor suspects that you have fluid around your heart (a pericardial effusion). It can also tell how well the heart is working. For the most common version of this test, you lie on a table while a technician moves an instrument called a transducer over the skin on your chest. A gel is often put on the skin first.

Positron emission tomography (PET) scan

For a PET scan, a radioactive substance (usually a type of sugar related to glucose, known as FDG) is injected into the blood. The amount of radioactivity used is very low. Because cancer cells in the body grow quickly, they absorb more of the sugar than most other cells. After waiting about an hour, you lie on a table in the PET scanner for about 30 minutes while a special camera creates a picture of areas of radioactivity in the body.

The picture from a PET scan is not finely detailed like a CT or MRI scan, but it can provide helpful information about whether abnormal areas seen on these tests are likely to be cancerous or not. For example, it can give the doctor a better idea of whether a thickening of the pleura or peritoneum seen on a CT scan is more likely cancer or merely scar tissue. If you have been diagnosed with cancer, your doctor may use this test to see if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body. A PET scan can also be useful if your doctor thinks the cancer may have spread but doesn’t know where.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan

Like CT scans, MRI scans make detailed images of soft tissues in the body. But MRI scans use radio waves and strong magnets instead of x-rays. The energy from the radio waves is absorbed and then released in a pattern formed by the type of body tissue and by certain diseases. A computer translates the pattern into very detailed images of parts of the body. A contrast material called gadolinium is often injected into a vein before the scan to better show details. This contrast is different than the one used for CT scans, so being allergic to one doesn’t mean you are allergic to the other.

MRI scans can sometimes help show the exact location and extent of a tumor since they provide very detailed images of soft tissues. For mesotheliomas, they may be useful in looking at the diaphragm (the thin band of muscle below the lungs that helps us breathe), a possible site of cancer spread.

Health First: 4 Things to Do If You’ve Been Exposed to Asbestos

Blood tests

Blood levels of certain substances are often higher in people with mesothelioma:

  • Osteopontin
  • Soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRPs), detected with the MesoMark® test

Blood tests for these substances are not used to diagnose mesothelioma, but high levels may make the diagnosis more likely.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, other blood tests will be done to check your blood cell counts and levels of certain chemicals in the blood. These tests can give the doctor an idea of how extensive the disease may be, and how well organs such as the liver and kidneys are working.

Tests of fluid and tissue samples

Symptoms and test results may strongly suggest that a person has mesothelioma, but the actual diagnosis is made by removing cells from an abnormal area and looking at them under a microscope. This is known as a biopsy. It may be done in different ways, depending on the situation.

Removing fluid for testing

If mesothelioma might be causing a buildup of fluid in the body, a sample of this fluid can be removed by inserting a thin, hollow needle through the skin and into the fluid to remove it. Numbing medicine is used on the skin before the needle is inserted. This may be done in a doctor’s office or in the hospital. Sometimes ultrasound (or an echocardiogram) is used to guide the needle (these use sound waves to take pictures of parts of the body).

This procedure has different names depending on where the fluid is:

  • Thoracentesis removes fluid from the chest.
  • Paracentesis removes fluid from the abdomen.
  • Pericardiocentesis removes fluid from the sac around the heart.

The fluid is then tested to check its chemical makeup and is looked at under a microscope to see if it contains cancer cells. If cancer cells are found, special tests might be able to tell whether the cancer is a mesothelioma, a lung cancer, or another type of cancer.

Even if no cancer cells are found in the fluid, cancer may still be present. In many cases, doctors need to get an actual sample of the mesothelium (the pleura, peritoneum, or pericardium) to determine if a person has mesothelioma.

Needle biopsies

Suspected tumors in the chest are sometimes sampled by needle biopsy. A long, hollow needle is passed through the skin in the chest between the ribs and into the pleura. Imaging tests such as CT scans are used to guide the needle into the tumor so that small samples can be removed to be looked at under the microscope. This is often done using just numbing medicine.

Needle biopsy can also be used to get samples of the lymph nodes in the space between the lungs to see if the cancer has spread there.

Endoscopic biopsies

An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument used to look inside the body. It has a light and a lens (or tiny video camera) on the end for viewing and often has a tool to remove tissue samples.

Cancers in the lung often spread to lymph nodes, but mesotheliomas do this less often. Testing the lymph nodes can help show whether a cancer is still localized or if it has started to spread, which might affect treatment options. It can also sometimes help distinguish lung cancer from mesothelioma.

Open surgical biopsy

Sometimes, endoscopic biopsies aren’t enough to make a diagnosis and more invasive procedures are needed. By making an incision in the chest (thoracotomy) or an incision in the abdomen (laparotomy) the surgeon can remove a larger sample of tumor or, sometimes, remove the entire tumor.

Testing the samples in the lab

No matter how they were obtained, all biopsy and fluid samples are sent to the pathology lab. There, a doctor will look at them under a microscope and test them to find out if they contain cancer cells (and if so, what type of cancer it is).

It is often hard to diagnose mesothelioma by looking at cells from fluid around the lungs, abdomen, or heart. It can even be hard to diagnose mesothelioma with tissue from small needle biopsies. Under the microscope, mesothelioma can often look like other types of cancer. For example, pleural mesothelioma may resemble some types of lung cancer, and peritoneal mesothelioma in women may look like some cancers of the ovaries.

For this reason, special lab tests are often done to help tell mesothelioma from some other cancers.

Immunohistochemistry: This test looks for different proteins on the surface of the cells or inside them. It can be used to tell if the cancer is a mesothelioma or a lung cancer, which can sometimes appear to start in the inner lining of the chest.

If mesothelioma is diagnosed, the doctor will also determine what type of mesothelioma it is, based on the patterns of cells seen in the microscope. Most mesotheliomas are classified as either epithelioid, sarcomatoid, or mixed/biphasic.

Pulmonary function tests

If mesothelioma has been diagnosed, pulmonary function tests (PFTs) may be done to see how well your lungs are working. This is especially important if surgery may be an option to treat the cancer. Surgery often requires removing part or all of a lung, so it’s important to know how well the lungs are working to start with. These tests can give the surgeon an idea of whether surgery may be an option, and if so, how much lung can safely be removed.


E-juice can be expensive, especially if you vape often. If you’re looking for safe, quality, affordable e-juice in any flavor you feel like, you should think about making your own. You can create your own delicious, custom recipes based on your favorite foods and desserts. Here are some of the most common DIY e-juice questions.

1. What Ingredients Are Needed to Make DIY E-Juice?

E-juice usually includes a base liquid, flavor concentrates, and nicotine. The base liquid contains different combinations of vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG). You can buy many premixed base liquids, or you can buy PG and VG separately and make your own. The most common VG and PG ratios are 70-to-30, 30-to-70, and 50-to-50.

PG is best for diluting flavor concentrates, and it’s an ingredient in many foods and cosmetics. It’s completely flavorless on its own, but some people can develop allergies or experience throat irritation. Vegetable glycerin is also part of many foods, and it’s sweeter and thicker than propylene glycol. You can use it to produce thick clouds of vapor, and it’s less likely to irritate your throat. Nicotine and flavorings are both optional.

You can experiment with different ingredients and ratios to improve your e-juice. A DIY vape juice kit has all the ingredients and equipment you need to start creating your own e-juice. That way, you can make one convenient purchase. Flavor kits with a variety of extracts and lab kits with equipment are available as well.

2. How Can People Make Premium E-Juice?

Image via Flickr by Ecigclick.co.uk 

Making your own vape juice doesn’t require any specialized knowledge. Like baking a cake, anyone can create a quality product with some practice and experimentation. You can choose premium flavors and other ingredients for the best possible vaping experience. There are thousands of flavor concentrates out there, and you can choose from several concentrations of nicotine.

You’ll need some small bottles for storing your base liquids, test recipes, and prepared e-juices. Graduated cylinders and beakers are useful for making larger amounts. Having plenty of containers also helps you avoid cross-contamination. Make sure to label your containers clearly to prevent mix-ups. You’ll also need some small syringes for adding ingredients by volume and an electronic scale for adding them by weight. Remember that nicotine has its own flavor. Since your skin can absorb it, you should use gloves when you handle it. Also, keep it away from children.  

3. What Are the Best DIY E-Juice Flavors?

According to Heavy, one of the best e-juice flavors is Lava Flow by Naked 100. It’s a blend of strawberry, pineapple, and coconut, and it tastes a lot like a piña colada. You can add additional flavors or the concentration of nicotine you prefer. Other options include coffee, granola, strawberry, watermelon, peppermint, menthol, cookie, and more.

Making your own e-juice might seem complicated, but it’s easy and fun. It’s an excellent way for you to enjoy the flavors of your favorite foods without overeating, and it can help you quit smoking.


Very few addictions only affect the person who is taking drugs, drinking, or gambling their money away. Their addictions also affect their friends and family too. If someone you love is abusing drugs, alcohol, or is gambling, use these ideas to help them.

Here are several ways to help your loved one through addiction

Know the Difference Between Enabling and Helping

Well-meaning family and friends can sometimes hurt their loved one more than helping them if they don’t know the difference between enabling someone and helping them. Supporting or helping someone means assisting them with things they may not be able to do.

Being supportive also encourages addicts to seek help to get better control of their lives. Enabling someone can keep them from dealing with the negative consequences of their addiction. If you’re lying for someone or making excuses for them, then you’re enabling them.

Learn about the Addiction

Being addicted to alcohol, drugs, or gambling is a disease, and the more that loved ones learn about it, the more helpful they can be. Take the time to learn the signs of addiction and what drugs or alcohol can do to the body.

Find out how your loved one can get help and where the nearest 12-step program or rehabilitation center is, so they don’t have to wait another day to start recovering.

Family members can also get help by going to a therapist or a program like Al-anon, Alateen, or Nar-anon.

Helping Spouses Recover

Leaving rehab after getting help with an addiction can be a frightening prospect, especially since the person may be around the enablers in their lives. As their spouse, you should learn how to assist your wife or husband with their recovery and be supportive of them.

It can be stressful living with an addict, especially if abuse or other problems that occurred during the time your spouse was using drugs or alcohol. However, you don’t need to learn how to live with an alcoholic or a drug abuser if you can get them the help they need.

Hire an Intervention Professional

It can be frustrating when someone refuses to acknowledge their addiction and get help for it. While an intervention can sometimes get through to the addict, you shouldn’t stage one without help. Speak to an addiction or intervention professional to get help with planning one.

You should also get help from people close to your loved one who is willing to be on the invention team. There will be a treatment plan set-up for the person who needs help, so it’s important to do an intervention properly.

Attend Couples Therapy

Drug, alcohol, and other addictions can destroy relationships with friends and family and ruin marriages. If you’re having a tough time reconciling with a spouse after they’ve been to rehab, consider going to couples’ therapy to try to save your marriage if you want to salvage it.

Couples’ therapy will allow both of you to openly express the feelings and issues you both have concerning your relationship. With a therapist helping, the discussions are less likely devolve into shouting matches because you’ll have the tools to get all the issues out in the open calmly.

Having the knowledge to help a friend or family member admit their addiction and seek help to get better can make their recovery successful.

However, it’s important to learn the difference between supporting someone and enabling them, so they don’t fail and start using or drinking again.


You probably already know how important it is to maintain your oral health with the help of a dentist to avoid tooth decay and for early disease detection. But which dentist should you trust with this responsibility?

There are number of factors to consider when choosing a family dentist such as Shirer Family Dentistry, Aiken, SC. It comes down to more than just know-how – you have to be comfortable in their chair. Furthermore, if you’re not comfortable during check ups, the dentist should find ways to make that visit easier on you.

Of course, your dentist should be more than competent and know how to handle a range of oral health issues, but there is more to dentistry than that. Here are some other things to look for when it comes to selecting a dentist that you can form a long-term professional relationship with.

It’s About Personal Connection

A good dentist shouldn’t make you dread your up coming appointment. Going to the dentist doesn’t always have to fit the definition of fun, but the dental team should do what it can to make you feel welcome and comfortable in their practice.

It’s more than just how you feel while you’re in the dentist’s chair. When you enter a dental office, you should be greeted warmly – and by name if it’s not your first visit. That’s something Shirer Family Dentistry takes very seriously. As one patient said about their experience at this particular dental office, “From the moment you walk in the door you feel welcomed and comfortable.”

Some dentists may take a clinical approach to dentistry, meaning they’re focused on quickly diagnosing the problem and applying a solution. While this isn’t a bad approach, it can also leave you feeling a bit cold. Dentists that love what they’re doing not only apply their technical skills, but their social skills as well. You should feel like you’re having a conversation with a friend during a procedure! As another patient pointed out about Shirer Family Dentistry, “Found a new home for all my dental services and I am excited to now have a dentist that is sociable, friendly, outgoing and truly loves interacting with patients.”

Speaking of connection, Shirer Family Dentistry, has a husband and wife dentist team that brings their unique personalities and skills to each patient. They consult with one another about the best approaches and what’s best for patients.

Having a male and female dentist on staff also allows patients to choose one based on their own comfort and preferences.

Aside from personable dentists and hygienists, you should also choose a dentist that has a helpful front desk team. They should be able to clearly communicate when your appointments are and work around your schedule, while also making payment easy and helping you file an insurance claim if need be.

Shirer Family Dentistry in Aiken, SC prides themselves on their amazing team members. From their front office to the hygienist and assistants, Drs. Michael and Susannah Shirer have often said they are blessed to be surrounded by such an amazing and competent group of people. The patients love seeing their friendly faces and it makes the office a fun place hearing the team joke with each other and the dentists laughing and having fun while working. It’s good to see so many smiles in a dental office – in this one, it’s not only the patients who are smiling, it’s the team. They truly love what they do!

Choose a Dentist That Explains Procedures

When you know more about something, you’re less likely to be afraid of it. That’s no different for dentists and dental procedures. You should choose a dentist that not only knows how to perform complicated dental procedures but can also inform you beforehand about why it’s needed and what you can expect during your procedure.

Just like you will find at Shirer Family Dentistry, many dentists now use digital on-screen displays so they can show you detailed results of x-rays and where any problem areas are. That way, you know they’re handling your personal oral care properly and not just delivering a prescribed treatment without rationale.

Whether it’s simply a cavity that needs to be filled or you need a complete reconstruction, you should know the work will be explained to you and any of your questions answered. This is one thing that sets Shirer Family Dentistry apart from the rest. They take copious amounts of time to get to know their patients, what they want from their dental visit, and how to best approach their unique dental situation to give them the best outcome. Patients feel comfortable discussing things with the doctors at Shirer Family Dentistry because they are approachable and connect with their patients.

They Should Help Ease Dental Anxiety

You might be avoiding the dentist altogether, as the case is for many people. In fact, some estimates say that almost 75 percent of Americans have some level of discomfort in the dental chair. You might even have a dental phobia that makes it very uncomfortable during even simple procedures, even when the dental team is friendly and gentle. Or you may have a pronounced gag reflex that brands some procedures significantly harder to deal with.

While staying with the same dentist over a long-term period can help build some trust and help you feel more relaxed during visits, sometimes other measures need to be taken to ensure you’re comfortable. That’s where sedation dentistry comes in.

Some dental offices like Shirer Family Dentistry offer you the option of being sedated during a procedure to ease your nerves. There are a few ways a dentist can offer this including nitrous oxide and oral sedation. The first option is a gas that wears off quickly when the mask is removed. Oral sedation means you take medication to help you relax, but the effects can last much longer than nitrous oxide.

With the right sedation technique, visits to the dentist will become less scary (and you may even find yourself falling asleep in the chair).

“I used to have a lot of dental anxiety, and I don’t have that problem anymore since I’ve been going to this office,” said a patient about Shirer Family Dentistry.

Shirer Family Dentistry, Aiken, SC – Focuses on Prevention

There are a few more points to consider when you’re choosing your dentist. How thoroughly do they clean your teeth? How much education do they give you to maintain your oral health at home between visits? How early do they detect potential issues?

Prevention means you’ll likely avoid more complicated procedures, and you’ll have less chance of a dental emergency. (Your dentist should be able to book you in promptly.)

Make sure your dentist is comfortable with all age groups including children and seniors and can even provide orthodontic care and dentures if necessary. All of this is the case at Shirer Family Dentistry in Aiken, SC.

One thing is for sure – you should leave feeling like you’ve just had a positive experience that’s beneficial for your health.

To find out more about finding the right dentist or to book an appointment with the professionals at Shirer Family Dentistry, contact the office today.


There are dozens of cosmetic procedures available all across the world to make almost any type of adjustment a person could want. Despite the popularity of cosmetic surgery, it’s still common to hear myths about different procedures and the people who get them. For decades, people looked down on plastic surgery and considered it to be a taboo topic. Because of this attitude, it was incredibly easy to spread negative rumors about plastic surgery. Choosing to get plastic surgery is a big decision to make, so it’s important to have accurate information about it. False information could make people afraid to get plastic surgery and create harmful stereotypes about those who do. Anyone looking to get plastic surgery done should know the common myths that people spread about plastic surgery.

If you’re thinking about getting plastic surgery, here are 10 common myths debunked.

1. Myth: Cosmetic surgery is the same as plastic surgery

Fact: At some point, you’ve likely heard someone use cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery about the same procedure. While these are usually used interchangeably, they are actually two different types of surgery.  Although you likely won’t be called out for using one instead of the other, it’s important to understand the difference between the two. Cosmetic surgery typically refers to procedures to enhance the appearance of the body and is usually done mostly for aesthetic reasons. Plastic surgery tends to be more complicated surgeries. In plastic surgery, body parts are reconstructed for many reasons, they could be cosmetic or medical reasons. Additionally, anyone with a medical license can call themselves a plastic surgeon, even if they have no specific training or experience to perform it. You want the best care when you’re getting plastic surgery, so it’s important that you get treatment from someone with the right training.

2. Myth: Only women get plastic surgery

Fact: If you take a look at tabloid magazines, you’ll find a woman in there somewhere with people speculating whether or not she’s had work done. Something that would be difficult for you to find is anything regarding a man getting plastic surgery. Many people would never suspect if a man got plastic surgery because they assume that it’s something largely meant only for women. In reality, more and more men are deciding to get plastic surgery. There are very few plastic surgeries that are meant for only female patients. For most procedures, they could be performed just as easily on men. This is an important myth to get rid of so that men who want plastic surgery feel just as comfortable getting it as a woman would.

3. Myth: Results from procedures last forever

Fact: You’ll find that with many plastic surgeries you’ll have to get routine maintenance done to keep the same affect. Most procedures aren’t intended to last forever. Procedures like dermal fillers can only use a certain amount of injections to be safe. Also, many injections are meant to be absorbed by your body. While this makes them safer for you to have in your body, it does require you to get them more often if it’s something you want to continue to keep up. A lot of common procedures will need touch ups from anywhere between three months to a year. Some can even last for up to a decade before you need to follow up. For some procedures, after the first few treatments, the subsequent procedures typically require less to achieve the same results.

4. Myth: Fat comes back after liposuction

Fact: While many procedures aren’t meant to last forever, liposuction actually does give you permanent results. When you get liposuction done, fat cells are being removed from your body. Early in our lives, our body stops producing new fat cells, so while these cells can grow and cause you to gain weight, your body won’t grow any new cells. This way, when fat cells are removed with liposuction, those cells will never come back to the body. However, if you were to have a substantial weight gain in the rest of your body, the results of liposuction would be much less noticeable. Fat cells remaining in that area can still grow if the person gained a lot of weight after the procedure. A person can still gain a small amount of weight after liposuction and still keep the same result.

5. Myth: Liposuction fixes cellulite

Fact: Cellulite is a common issue among people of all different weights. More women have cellulite than men and its most commonly found around the thighs. Cellulite is caused by fat deposits pushing through the surface of the skin. Because of this, cellulite is typically associated with having an excess of fat. Many people who have cellulite assume that once they have liposuction done, the cellulite will be treated as well. If you think that cellulite is only caused by fat, this makes sense. However, cellulite is actually caused by the skin. This is also why older people are more likely to have cellulite, as their skin loses elasticity as they age. When fat is removed during liposuction, it doesn’t have any effect on the texture of your skin. There are procedures that can help reduce the amount of cellulite someone has, but thinking that liposuction will help it is an unrealistic expectation to have.

6. Myth: Liposuction is good for weight loss

Fact: One of the most common misconceptions about liposuction is that it’s intended for weight loss. Liposuction does remove fat from the body, but only in small amounts. No one will have dramatic weight loss results from liposuction. The weight of the fat being removed during liposuction typically doesn’t exceed more than 11 pounds. You might choose to get liposuction in multiple spots, but that will most likely be recommended over time rather than all at once.  Liposuction is only intended to be used for body contouring and spot reduction for small amounts of stubborn fat. Anyone looking to have liposuction done should understand that the procedure won’t have any major impact over their weight. If you’re considering getting liposuction, you should already be at your goal weight.

Image source Wikimedia Commons

7. Myth: Recovery time from plastics surgery is long

Fact: In the past, recovering from plastic surgery was very time consuming and often painful. Due to less invasive procedures replacing very involved plastic surgeries, many plastic surgeries are actually very simple to recover from. The most amount of time most people need to take off from work for the majority of plastic surgery, including breast augmentation, is around two weeks, although it could take a few more weeks to be completely back to normal. There are many procedures that have no recovery time at all. Many are even dubbed as “lunchtime procedures” because they only take around an hour and you can get right back to your normal activities after.  

8. Myth: Plastic surgery is best done outside of hospitals

Fact: When you’re having plastic surgery done, you’ll find some doctors who will do procedures in their office and some who perform in a hospital setting instead. Some doctors will make in-office procedures out to be a more attractive option, as a hospital can seem too clinical. For many types of plastic surgery, you might not see any reason to have to go into a hospital if the procedure isn’t very invasive. While it might not seem serious, you should receive plastic surgery in a hospital if you’re able to. Anytime you’re undergoing a medical procedure, it’s important that you have immediate access to the right medical care, which isn’t always available to you in an office. This is especially important if you’re getting anesthesia to ensure that it’s being properly administered.

9. Myth: Plastic surgery doesn’t leave any scars

Fact: Many people who get plastic surgery are having it done for aesthetic reasons. Having a visible scar after plastic surgery wouldn’t be beneficial for most patients. Most think that plastic surgeries are designs to not leave any scar, but most procedures actually do leave some type of scar. However, surgeons place the scar in less conspicuous areas, so it’s easy to believe that there isn’t actually a scar there. For example, scars from nose jobs are typically inside of the nose. More invasive surgeries, like a tummy tuck, will leave a scar, but the scar is placed in an area that will be covered by clothing. If you have plastic surgery, you’ll probably end up with some type of scar, but most people will never know that it’s there.

10. Myth: Getting plastic surgery makes you vain

Fact: People who have plastic surgery are often looked down upon by others for it. Society’s perception of plastic surgery has gotten better in the past few years, but a large majority of people still judge others for it. Since the goal in many plastic surgery cases is to improve someone’s appearance, they’re often thought of as being too concerned with their looks. There are many reasons a person could want plastic surgery, some even require them for medical reasons to improve problems like breathing issues or to reconstruct damaged parts of the body. Even if plastic surgery is done for cosmetic purposes, it could still be very beneficial for that person to help the way they feel about their body.

Drug-resistant malaria parasites have moved from Cambodia to Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, where half of patients are not being cured by first-choice drugs, researchers from the UK and Thailand say.

Researchers say the findings raise the “terrifying prospect” drug-resistance could spread to Africa.

However, experts said the implications may not be as severe as first thought.

Malaria is treated with a combination of two drugs – artemisinin and piperaquine.

The drug combo was introduced in Cambodia in 2008.

However, by 2013, the first cases of the parasite mutating and developing resistance to both drugs were detected, in western parts of the country.

The latest study, published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases, analyzed blood samples from patients across South East Asia.

Inspecting the parasite’s DNA showed resistance had spread across Cambodia and was also in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

The parasite had also picked up further mutations, making it even more problematic.

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Malaria spreading to higher altitudes due to warmer temperatures

In some regions, 80% of malaria parasites were drug resistant.

However, it doesn’t mean the disease is becoming untreatable.

A second study, published in the Lancet, showed half of patients were not being cured with standard therapy.

However, there are alternative drugs that can be used instead.

That could include using different drugs alongside artemisinin or using a combination of three drugs to overcome resistance.

Huge progress has been made towards eliminating malaria. However, the development of drug resistance threatens that progress.

The other issue is if the resistance spreads further and reaches Africa, where more than nine in 10 cases of the disease are.

The findings will not change much in people’s day-to-day life in the Greater Mekong Subregion, in South East Asia.

Tackling malaria is about more than just picking the right treatment after an infection.

All the efforts around controlling the mosquitoes that spread the disease will not change.

However, the researchers say the drugs people are given after an infection should change.

The studies also show genetic analysis of malaria parasites can help doctors keep one step ahead of emerging drug-resistance in order to give patients the right treatment.

The spread of resistance is set against the backdrop of falling cases in the region.

In Cambodia there were 262,000 cases of malaria in 2008 and 36,900 in 2018.

There are about 219 million cases of malaria around the world each year.

Symptoms include cycles of feeling cold and shivering followed by a high temperature with severe sweating.

Without treatment, the parasite can lead to breathing problems and organ failure.

Malaria kills about 435,000 people every year – most of them are children under the age of five.


Previously confined to actresses, breast augmentation surgeries are pretty common nowadays. The standards of beauty have risen higher to the point that almost every single woman out there plans to get cosmetic surgery done and breast augmentation is one of them. Women invest in such operations because of their physical insecurities. That is precisely how the beauty industry has grown – benefiting from their insecurities.

However, there is nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself, and that is what breast augmentation does to your body. While many women are getting their breasts implanted, they need to understand several factors before going for breast augmentation. So, without further delay, let talk about these factors.

Image source Wikipedia

Your saggy breasts cannot be fixed with a breast augmentation

The breast augmentation will not help you in getting rid of the saggy breasts. It will lead to more saggy breasts because of the increased volume of the breasts. Be sure to know the type of surgery you need, when do you need it and why. Talking about sagginess, the best procedure for it is mastopexy or breast lift. Get your breast augmentation procedure done from a reputed cosmetic surgeon such as Absolute Cosmetics that deal with all types of surgeries. 

Sooner or later, you will need to replace breast implants

Even though breast augmentation is a safe and generally thought to be a long-lasting solution to your problem, it is not a permanent treatment. The breast implants will only last for a decade or so, after which you have to replace them. People who have gone through the surgery will have to go for annual checkups from time to time. I recommend you do ample research before going through this life-altering procedure.

Don’t think this is a one-time job, expect another surgery in the future

Majority of the people who have done breast augmentation believe that it is a one-time job. Although there is a possibility that you will outlive your implants, you will need another breast surgery in the future.

It isn’t as simple as you think it is

There is a lot of research that pertains to the breast augmentation. You will have to choose several things and finalize the best. From selecting the shape of your breast implants to its texture, you will have to dig into every minor detail before moving ahead.

Breast augmentation takes time to fully mature

What you will see right after the surgery isn’t the final result. The whole procedure takes time to settle down. Initially, you will experience swelling and bruising on the breasts. These may last for a couple of weeks after which your breast implants will fully heal and transform. So, be patient, wait for the desired results, and follow your surgeon’s advice.

Image by diegodiezperez123 from Pixabay

As the uncertainty around Brexit continues, people of all walks of life are exploring the threats and opportunities that leaving the EU will bring.

Those of us that love interior design and restyling our homes would certainly like an idea of what kind of impact Brexit might have on our shopping and styling habits.

Of course there are no firm predictions about what Brexit will mean, but here’s a summary of what’s being said…

Property uncertainty

In the worst case Brexit scenarios, property prices are expected to fall. That’s never good news for homeowners, but for the millions who’ve yet to get on the property ladder, it could bring new opportunities.

Lower prices can often tempt amateur developers into the market, who take on a property that needs a lot of work and transform it into a dream home, adding tens of thousands in value.

In an uncertain market this can be a risky business, but many people have made good money this way. It’s amazing what a modern new kitchen or a stylish bathroom and luxury shower can do!

Price rises post Brexit

Another potential consequence of Brexit is that the value of the pound could fall, which could make buying things more expensive, particularly items that come to the UK from Europe and beyond.

If you’re looking to make some changes to your home, it could make sense to get it done soon.  Don’t wait until the 31 October to buy high value furnishings, for example.

On the flip side, currency fluctuations could be a boost for British designers and manufacturers, as people seek to get the best value on new products for the home.

Brexit as a creativity booster

Of course, there’s also the chance that not much will change after Brexit, depending on the conditions on which we do finally leave… if we do at all!

It’s always wise to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. As we have seen many times before, challenging times can drive creativity and innovation. After all, there are lots of ways to restyle your home on a budget, by embracing new ways to save money and thinking differently.

That might mean adopting a more DIY approach, bringing in some home-made chic, or being a little more minimalist in your style.

Whatever happens, there will always be new style trends to suit every situation, and we’ll be the first to report on them.



Being in the public eye can be a pressure-filled environment, leaving many famous people struggling to handle the stresses and strains.

Creative types, top athletes and many other people cannot handle being in the spotlight, often leading to them suffering with worry, anxiety and depression.

However, by working with professionals to understand these conditions, many celebrities have learned to manage the symptoms and thrive in their respective careers.

Read on as we look at some of the world’s most famous people have managed to conquer anxiety and worry.

Demi Lovato at Elvis Duran Show

Exercise the key for Lovato

Singer Demi Lovato has regularly spoken about her struggles with mental health and says she uses a variety of methods to deal with her anxiety issues.

The founder of the ‘Be Vocal: Speak Up For Mental Health’ initiative, Lovato has regularly opened up about living with bipolar disorder and battling anxiety in the past.

She says that solutions can vary from person to person and has encouraged people not to stay silent about mental health issues.

“I can’t stress enough to vocalize your needs to a great support system – whether it’s your family or even an online community of people who are going through the same thing that you are,” she told the Huffington Post.

“It’s so important to vocalise what you’re dealing with instead of internalising it and letting it manifest into unhealthy behavior. That eventually leads to lifelong problems. That’s the most important thing you can do.

“Exercising is another way I deal with anxiety. Painting, and writing music and expressing myself through art are other ways that I can release emotions. Meditation is another one. Whatever it is, it’s important to find what works for you.”

CBD oil helps athletes manage anxiety

Many professional athletes use CBD oil as a means of recovering from intense exercise, regular training sessions and to control anxiety.

Soreness, tiredness and feelings of nausea are amongst the main side effects of intensive training and restrictions on certain pharmaceuticals make it difficult for athletes to get relief from the symptoms.

With top level sports being a pressure-filled environment, many athletes also suffer bouts of anxiety often brought on by concerns about their injuries or worrying about performance.

Using CBD oil for anxiety is a powerful and natural alternative and many top sportsmen have now switched on to its benefits to manage anxiety and other health problems.

Former Philadelphia Flyers’ star, Riley Cote, founded the Hemp Heals Foundation after retiring from the National Hockey League.

Cote began using CBD as a supplement to treat the physical and mental damage he caused to his body after being in more than 250 hockey fights.

“I quickly realised it wasn’t just helping with my brain health, but it also added another dimension to my sleep, and its subtle calming nature helped with anxiety,” he said.

Performing helps Stone cope

Oscar winner, Emma Stone, says performing on the big screen helps her cope with lifelong anxiety and panic attacks.

Stone struggled with deep separation anxiety as a youngster and was eventually diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder.

She learned cognitive therapy techniques that helped her cope with anxiety and channel her feelings into productive behaviour.

“I believe the people who have anxiety and depression are very, very sensitive and very, very smart,” she said.

“Because the world is hard and scary and there’s a lot that goes on and if you’re very attuned to it, it can be crippling.

“But if you don’t let it cripple you and use it for something productive, it’s like a superpower.”

Today, she manages her anxiety with therapy, meditation, being with others and keeping busy. She also steers clear of social media to ensure she avoids putting herself in difficult situations.

Lady Gaga

Helping others keeps Gaga grounded

Lady Gaga has been open about her experiences with mental illness, particularly in light of being a survivor of assault.

She takes medication to manage her depression, but freely admits that talking about the problem is the key to her wellbeing.

The ‘Star is Born’ actress created the Born This Way Foundation in 2012 to build empowered communities and improve mental health resources for young adults.

Gaga believes that mental health is just as vital to our wellbeing as physical health, and insists that talking about it can really help.

“I’ve suffered through depression and anxiety my entire life – I still suffer with it every single day,” she said.

“I just want these kids to know that that depth that they feel as human beings is normal. We were born that way. This modern thing, where everyone is feeling shallow and less connected? That‘s not human.

“I think it’s better when we all say: ‘Cheers!’ And ‘fess up to it.”

Fish urges people to talk

In 2012, tennis star Mardy Fish began suffering from anxiety attacks so serious that he had to withdraw before a match against Rodger Federer at the US Open.

His anxiety ultimately led him to retiring from the sport, but therapy, medication and talking openly about his mental-health difficulties have proved to be a life-saver.

“Mental health is not a very easy thing to talk about in sports,” he told the Players’ Tribune. “It’s not perceived as very masculine.

“We’re so trained to be ‘mentally tough,’ in sports. To show weakness, we’re told, in so many words, is to deserve shame.”

Fish has refused to be defined by anxiety disorder and has found his way back into tennis as captain of the US Davis Cup team.

He believes that his previous experiences make him well-equipped to help the current crop of players deal with the pressures of representing their country.

“To be the Davis Cup captain, the next Davis Cup captain, I’m incredibly humbled,” Fish said. “I can’t even express how excited I am, how excited I am that the players have supported the decision.

“The friendships I’ve made throughout the years, relationships of all the players, not just the top players, is very special.”


According to a recent study, the popular herbal extract ginkgo biloba may help the brain recover after a stroke.

The supplement, available in health food shops or pharmacies all over the world, is used in China to aid memory and fight depression.

In a trial of 330 stroke patients over six months in China, ginkgo biloba was linked with better cognitive skill scores on tests.

However, experts say the evidence for ginkgo is too weak to recommend it.

Those behind the study – published in the online journal Stroke & Vascular Neurology – admit that larger, longer and more robust trials are needed.

The small study was carried out by Nanjing University Medical School, with patients from five Chinese hospitals.

All 330 participants began the trial within a week of having an ischemic stroke. The average age of the patients was 64.

Roughly half of them were given 450mg of ginkgo biloba daily, in addition to 100mg of aspirin, while the remainder were given only the aspirin.

During a stroke, the blood supplying vital parts of the brain is interrupted, often leading to impaired memory and a decline in organizational and reasoning skills among stroke survivors.

Researchers wanted to see if combining ginkgo biloba with aspirin might help lessen or halt the cognitive decline.

Image source Public Domain Pictures

Previous experimental studies in animals have suggested that ginkgo biloba protects against the nerve cell death associated with blood clots in the brain, possibly by increasing blood flow in the cerebral arteries.

All the participants took a neuropsychological test (Montreal Cognitive Assessment) at the start of the trial, and then 12, 30, 90 and 180 days later, to check for any cognitive impairment.

The results showed that those taking the combination of aspirin and ginkgo biloba had higher scores for cognitive skills, including memory and reasoning, than those who weren’t.

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Speech problems and muscle strength also improved more rapidly, with indications of improved functional capacity 12 and 30 days after the start of treatment. However, both the clinicians and the patients knew which treatment they had been assigned to, which may have skewed the results, and the monitoring period was not very long.

Ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest living tree species.

According to researchers, the extract used in the study contained more protective, and fewer harmful, chemicals than the extract typically used in previous studies.

Few side-effects were reported during the trial.

The participants were subsequently monitored for nearly two years, with little difference in the vascular health of the two groups: 16 people in the combined treatment group, and 20 in the aspirin group had further problems, including recurrent stroke and aneurysm.

However, longer term studies looking at stroke severity are necessary, before any more definitive conclusions can be reached.


The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is a national level nursing exam conducted in Canada and the United States for checking the knowledge and eligibility of nursing graduates before licensing them. This test is taken up by the individuals after completion of their graduation from nursing school to acquire the nursing license. The NCLEX exams are conducted by the NCSBN – National Council of State Boards of Nursing Inc. Acquiring licenses through the test gives the candidates permission to practice nursing in the above mentioned countries.

There are two types of the NCLEX test:

a) NCLEX-RN: National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses

b) NCLEX-PN: National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses

In this article, we will explore the test for the practical nurses.

NCLEX-PN: Overview

To acquire the licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), the individuals must pass the NCLEX Prep exam. It tests the candidate’s knowledge, abilities, and skills at the entry level to see if they are fit for the safe and effective practice of nursing. This test comes in the format of Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT). This technology is based on how one answered the previous question. The questions asked in the NCLEX-PN exam are based on the extensive nursing material, and according to this, the individuals are graded based on how intuitively they answer these questions.

NCLEX-PN: Exam Format

The question format of the NCLEX-PN test is multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blanks, putting the steps in correct order, selection of correct answers from a list of various options, identification of correct area on a picture, information about a chart, graph, or an audio clip.

Due to the Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) feature of the exam, each candidate will have a different form of the test. This ensures different questions being asked to different students depending on how they answered the previous question. According to the CAT feature, each individual can get any number of questions between 75 and 265. Out of the first 75 questions answered by the candidates only 60 will make it to grading. The remaining 15 are asked on experimental basis to see if they are worthy to be asked in future exams, and these questions will not be added during grading the students.

The maximum time set for this exam is 6 hours with two 10-minute breaks: a mandatory one is after 2 and a half hours and an optional one – after 4 hours. The applicants are also free to take breaks whenever they wish in-between the test, but they will have to compensate it with the exam time.

Image source: Public Domain Files

NCLEX-PN: Subjects

NCLEX-PN exam focuses on four main subjects relating to the nursing field. Under these four main subjects, there are sub-sections as well. All the information regarding them is as follows:

1. Safe Effective Care Environment: It has two sub-sections, which include:

a) Coordinated Care: The practical/vocational nurse coordinated with the health care team members to provide proper and potent care to the patients. Other related subjects under this section are Advance Directives, Establishing Priorities, Advocacy, Ethical Practice, Client Care Assignments, Informed Consent, Client Rights, Information Technology, Collaboration with Interdisciplinary Team, Legal Responsibilities, Performance Improvement, Information Security, Referral Process, Continuity of Care, Resource Management, Concepts of Management and Supervision, and etc.

b) Infection Control and Safety: In this context, the practical/vocational nurse helps the clients and heath care personnel against health and environmental hazards. Other related subjects under this section are Accident/Injury/Error Prevention, Least Restrictive Restraints and Safety Devices, Emergency Response Plan, Safe Use of Equipment, Ergonomic Principles, Security Plan, Infectious Materials and Handling Hazardous, Home Safety, Standard, Precautions/Transmission-Based Precautions/Surgical Asepsis, Reporting of Incident/Irregular Variance/Occurrence, and so on.

2. Health Promotion and Maintenance: The practical/vocational nurse in this aspect helps the patients/clients with the information of health issues, stages of their growth and development, prevention or how they can be detected in early stages, and so on. It includes Aging Process, Health Promotion/Disease Prevention, Ante/Intra/Postpartum and Newborn Care, High Risk Behaviors, Data Collection Techniques, Lifestyle Choices, Developmental Stages and Transitions, Self-care, Community Resources, and etc.

3. Psychosocial Integrity: The practical/vocational nurse in the psychosocial aspect assists in aiding mental and emotional support to the patients suffering due to any kind of illness.This also includes some aspects, such as Abuse or Neglect, Mental Health Concepts, Behavioral Management, Spiritual and Religious Influences on Health, End-of-Life Concepts, Chemical Dependencies, Coping Mechanisms, Therapeutic Communication, Perceptual/Sensory Alterations, Stress Management, Support Systems, Crisis Intervention, Cultural Awareness, Therapeutic Environment, etc.

4. Physiological Integrity: In the physiological integrity aspects, the practical/vocational nurse helps by assisting in the encouragement of physical health and overall well-being of the patients by providing them care and comfort. This aspect covers four more sub-sections.

a) Basic Care and Comfort: In this section, the practical/vocational nurse helps the patient coordinate with the daily activities. This includes some aspects like Personal Hygiene, Assistive Devices, Rest and Sleep, Nutrition and Oral Hydration, Elimination, Immobility/Mobility, Non-pharmacological Comfort Interventions, and so on.

b) Pharmacological Therapies: This is related to the medicine administration and parental therapies. It involves aspects, such as Expected Outcomes/Actions, Medication Administration, Dosage Calculations, Pharmacological Pain Management, and etc.

c) Reduction of Risk Potential: This aspect deals with the potentials of complications arising from already present health issues, its treatments and procedures. It also comprises Diagnostic Tests, Abnormalities/Changes in Vital Signs, Laboratory Values, Potential for Alterations in Body Systems, Potential for Complications of Diagnostic Tests/Procedures/Treatments, Potential for Complications from Surgical Procedures and Health Alterations, Therapeutic Procedures, and etc.

d) Physiological Adaptation: In this matter, the practical/vocational nurse helps the patients who are suffering from acute, life-threatening or chronic physical health conditions and takes care of them during their presence in the health care centre. It also involves Fluid and Electrolyte Imbalances, Medical Emergencies, Alterations in Body Systems, Basic Pathophysiology, Unexpected Response to Therapies, and so on.

To be informed about the registration and exam preparation, visit the webpage of the NCLEX test.